Chennai:She may be a US return, but Kavita Bagila, a faculty at KM Conservatory of Music in Chennai, and the founder of an independent musical start-up, Desi Music Entertainment, has certainly well-captured the spirit of ‘Young India’ through her first single, Solidarity. It’s only been two days that it has been uploaded to YouTube, and there’re already more than 4,000 views on it. “The response has been excellent considering I have no sponsors, no backing, and no mainstream distribution. Just through word of mouth,” says Kavita herself.
“Most of my friends back in States still think India is what it was some 30 or 40 years back. When I tell them about my lifestyle and that the things I do here isn’t much different from what young Americans do there now, they seem surprised. Part of this song is also my effort to change that perspective of American Indians about their own country’s youth,” states Kavita.
She credits the success of the song to her team-lyricist Adithi Deborah and the bunch of young talents who collaborated for the song, including BlaaZe, Benny Dayal, Shakthisree Gopalan, Naresh Iyer and more. But most inspirational were the inputs from none other than AR Rahman himself. “I consider him a mentor and friend. He gave me a lot of valuable advice on the track,” she says.
In fact Kavita admits that if he hadn’t called her to India to help him establish his music school in Chennai six years ago, as one of the foremost faculties, all this would have remained a dream. “Had I stayed in the States, I probably would have continued to pursue western classical music and opera. But the joy and energy of the Indian music scene kept me here,” says Kavita, whose first contact to AR Rahman was in 2008, when she performed with his guitarist.
Kavita points out that the hardest part for her was composing a commercial track. “It took me quite a few tries to go, ‘yes, this is what I want!’” says Kavita, adding that the tune for the song was originally meant for a Kollywood project she was earlier working on. “The producers didn’t want to back it because they said it would be too expensive. The song started shape of its own, after she started calling the artists and having jamming sessions with them. “It had been a couple years since I had been in touch with some of these people and I was nervous to call them up out of nowhere and ask if they’d be interested.
Not only were they interested, but also many of them said yes without even hearing the track! Can you believe that?” Kavita says, clearly pleased with the outcome.
The first person to give voice to it was Sanjeev Abhyankar. “The minute he opened his mouth, my eyes literally filled with tears. It was the first time I had heard what was in my head, out loud and live. It was a beautiful moment,” Kavita concludes....